Monday, 13 July 2009



The pain. What the hell? My head. Oh god that hurts. That rock can’t really have been that big, it’ll stop hurting in a second so just shut up and stop being such a wimp.

Oh dear god, crap, f*ck, sh*t this hurts. Ok Patrick’s here, I don’t want him to think I’m being a pansy…I’ll just take my hand off my head and stand up…

Crap. Really CRAP, there’s blood. It’s bleeding. My blood is dripping onto my jacket and it’s ALL OVER MY HAND. And it really, really hurts. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck. Stop swearing woman, you need to get some help.


A chance in a million. I mean, seriously, getting hit in the head by a rock the size of half a brick when we were still only a few hundred yards out of the Telepherique station, on a footpath over which hundreds of tourists probably walk everyday. A footpath. Not even near the route where a helmet would have been necessary. Unlucky or what?!

Needless to say this little incident put an end to our hopes of climbing the Frendo Spur, as the rest of the day was to be spent firstly in an ambulance, then a French hospital (which was actually some 30km away, in Sallanches, as the hospital in Chamonix doesn’t open until sometime around 9am on a Saturday…makes sense no?), then on several trains BACK to Chamonix after which I retired to bed with a stinking headache and lots of blood still in my hair. Not a brilliant day all told.

A freak accident. Fortunately my injury has turned out to be pretty minor, merely an inconvenience really, but it could so easily have been different. Had the stone been bigger, travelling faster, had we been in a less accessible location, had I lost my balance and fallen down the moraine, had I been looking up instead of down, the consequences would undoubtedly been far worse. All of this has led me into a spiral of darkened self-recrimination and examination: Why do I do this? What is it that I need? Why do I crave a life of risk? Do I crave a life of risk? Is this really who I am?


  1. Oh crikey - I hope things improve!

    Well done on the PPL and hope the rest of your alpine trip is trouble free.

    Good luck.


  2. Thanks mate - once it stops itching I'll be fine. Right now it's just unbelievably irritating.

    Sadly it put an end to the trip (ok so it happened right at the end anyway), but just goes to show how easily these things can happen!

    And to think, feeling like I was going to freeze to death on the summit of Mont Blanc had been the previous low point! (Top tip, don't be stupid like me and not wear warm enough clothing).

    Fingers crossed your trip goes well, I'll be thinking of you. When is it you go?